- Court says campaign being run to malign judiciary as a whole
LAHORE: As the Lahore High Court (LHC) acquitted the accused, Shah Hussain, in Khadija Siddiqui stabbing case, the court issued a statement on Thursday asking media to apologise for airing Khadija’s ‘frivolous’ claim during a TV talk show in which she alleged that she was called into the chambers of a judge for entering into a compromise with Hussain.
A press release issued by the LHC registrar’s office said that speculations were being aired in electronic media/social media and published in print media after Shah Hussain’s acquittal.
The statement referred to an interview earlier this week in which Khadija claimed that “she was called upon by the honourable judge in his chambers whereby she was persuaded to enter into a compromise with the petitioner/convict [Hussain] in presence of his father”.
“She has further speculated that the honourable judge might have been persuaded by Punjab Governor Rafiq Rajwana to pass the judgement of acquittal in favour of the petitioner/convict,” the registrar added.
The LHC registrar said the news items based on Khadija’s claims were concocted, frivolous and was being aired/published in electronic/social and print media with a malicious attempt to malign the judiciary as an institution.
The registrar’s statement further said that the campaign [on media] was not against a judge in isolation, rather it was part of the campaign which was being sponsored to malign the judiciary as a whole. The LHC registrar directed electronic media outlets to air an apology during prime time for airing the “frivolous news item”.
The print media, too, was directed to apologise by printing an apology “at the front page of the newspaper within three days”.
The court registrar directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and Press Council of Pakistan to submit compliance reports with regard to the apology.
Earlier in the day, the court stated, in a written order, that the prosecution in the Khadija Siddiqui stabbing case failed to prove the guilt of main accused Shah Hussain, leading to his acquittal.
It further stated that there were discrepancies in the account of the incident given by Siddiqui. It also noted that medical notes by doctors who treated the wounds were also not provided by the prosecution, adding that Siddiqui’s statement was falsified by the medical officer.